Riordan is a long time Democratic Party financial contributor who has provided campaign funds to many prominent politicians, including Governor Bill Richardson, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, Attorney General Patricia Madrid, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez, Rep. Peter Wirth, Santa Fe’s District 47 and State Rep. Al Park of Albuquerque’s District 26.
Richardson, who took some $24,000 in campaign contributions appointed Riordan to the New Mexico State Gaming Commission, where he became chairman.
There is a major political corruption trial against former New Mexico State Treasurer Robert Vigil which is expected to last six weeks. It is taking place in the old restored courtroom in U.S. Federal District Court in Albuquerque.
Vigil is charged with 28 counts of conspiracy, racketeering, extortion and money laundering.
Vigil’s predecessor, former State Treasurer Michael Montoya, for whom Vigil was his Deputy Treasurer, plead guilty to one count of extortion. Montoya is cooperating with federal prosecutors in a plea agreement. He named Riordan, in testimony, as having given him between $75,000 and $100,000 in kickbacks for government work.
Wachovia Securities did about $1.1 billion with the State Treasurer’s office in 2005.
Richardson immediately fired Riordan from the Commission and is giving the campaign contributions to charity.
Riordan’s biography and picture were immediately removed from the State Gaming Commission’s website.
Other campaign fund recipients have also quickly distanced themselves from Riordan by giving his campaign fund contributions to charity.
Riordan has not been charged with any wrongdoing and his lawyer denied he did anything wrong, calling Montoya a liar.
The media were quick to name Riordan’s contribution recipients but they overlooked his involvement with the ABQPAC. A political action committee set up after the 2001 mayoral campaign.
Riordan served on the ABQPAC board that illegally funneled money to Mayor Chávez for family travel expenses, to pay Chávez' wife’s cellular phone bills and to retire old campaign debts.
While campaign treasurer, Perlman used his UNM State e-mail address as his contact point for contributors in violation of state university rules on the political use of websites.
Attorney General Madrid ran for Lt. Gov. on the 1990 Democratic Party ticket with gubernatorial candidate and former three-time Governor Bruce King.
In 1998, Chávez was the Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate with Denish as his Lt. Gov. running mate. They lost to incumbent Gary Johnson, at the same time Madrid was elected attorney general.
Madrid refused to investigate or prosecute Chávez on the ABQPAC case. The case was eventually heard by the City of Albuquerque’s Ethics Board, which found Chávez guilty of ethics violations.
Here are State Rep. Al Park of Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights speaking with Chávez and City Councillor Michael Cadigan and his wife Traci, after the December 1, 2005, swearing in ceremonies. In the background, is C.M. Dziak, in the orange shirt, who is an insurance agent and one-time head of the ABQPAC after Perlman stepped down.